London’s South Bank has been a mainstay of the British skate scene for decades but the Soutbank Centre now wants to turn the area into more retail units and move the park elsewhere, this isn’t their first land grab either.
I used to skate there most weekends as a kid at a time when the area used by skaters was far larger than it is now (bank to wall anyone?) and I’d be gutted to see it washed away and turned over to more retail space.
The quest to monetise every square inch possible is just depressing, especially when it’s at the expense of such an organic and soulful spot like this, it was always such a desolate and underutilised area that skating really bought alive. I know from speaking to people how much they like seeing the skating down there and I’d say it is actually an attraction to non-skaters as well as skaters.
Sure, there are skate parks elsewhere in London, way more than when I first started, but this is so unique and special with a real history and I think you have to ask the question what kind of city you want. Personally I like it that the Southbank attracts a diversity of interests and the way the park is somehow part of the historical landscape of it all but is so different to other cultural and commercial activities that go on around it.
If you haven’t done so already then check out the Save Southbank website and sign the petition.